Category : Divorce Issues

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Divorce Means No Insurance

The dissolution of marriage comes along with many changes for both parties involved. One of the many drastic changes is the difference in lifestyle. The division of assets puts a brand new perspective on a lot of everyday things when spouses are no longer together. Sometimes the division of assets affects the woman in a divorce more severely than the man, and this is because many marriages still see the male as the breadwinner and the woman as the homemaker. Therefore, a divorce for many women also means losing health insurance protection.

Without health insurance, many women are left stranded to fend for themselves should an injury occur or some type of medical emergency. Most insurance plans through a place of business is far less expensive than that of an independent plan. This presents yet another problem as women who have been homemakers for so long probably do not have sufficient skills to obtain a job, and consequently the benefits that come with it. Paying out of your own pocket for health insurance is costly to say the least.

Crunching the Numbers
A recent University of Michigan study revealed that roughly 115,000 American women lose their private health insurance annually after a divorce, and about half of them do not get replacement coverage.

Women who fall into this category often find themselves out of insurance for a significant amount of time. The stats show that women’s overall rates of health insurance coverage remain depressed for more than two years after the divorce. When conducted, the study looked at data that spanned four years and observed women who were married, remained married, or divorced at some point during that time. They found that approximately six months after divorce, 15 to 20 percent of women lose their health insurance coverage.

Women from moderate income families, meaning those making between two or three times the federal poverty level (or about $46,000 and $70,000 for a family of four), are at high risk of losing insurance in a divorce. Under the law, these families technically make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to purchase private health insurance coverage. This becomes a dilemma for many families, and they begin to struggle.

Other Ways to Survive
Not having health care altogether is not the only option for divorced women who were dependent on their spouse for insurance previously. Federal law allows ex-spouses to extend their coverage through the Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, also known as COBRA, for up to three years. But premiums for this kind of coverage are expensive because the individual picks up the entire cost of the policy. However, this does allow the ex-spouse to be insured, and gives them ample time to find a policy through either new employment or of their own accord. Some states even employ programs that allow an ex-spouse to simply pay the premium of the employer-based insurance, rather than the costly COBRA plan.

So, all is not lost, but be alert during a divorce, since the division of assets can often mean that the luxuries and the small things we often do not think about are taken away. Always be prepared, and where ever possible, discuss with a spouse just how you will be taken care of post-divorce, health care especially.

The Three Ways to Divorce

Filing for a divorce is the beginning of a major change in one’s life. There are two components of the divorce process that are sometimes hard to keep separated. The emotional divorce, which might already have happened between the divorcing couple, and the official divorce proceedings, which is usually a ongoing. In the official divorce proceeding almost every aspect of the marriage and material goods is negotiated and divided in a way that either the couple sees fit, or the courts deem fair.

However, it is often the case that many couples, clinging to the intense emotional side of divorce, cannot come to a reasonable decision regarding spousal or child support, as well as the division of marital assets. Even with the help of mediation, the intensely personal situation can create a standoff between spouses. The standoff often then leads to the costly arbitration and litigation process. Let’s take a look at the 3 ways the standoff between divorcing spouses can be worked though.

Negotiation

Negotiations are the first step in the process of reaching an agreement between spouses on all the assets, custody, and potential support agreements. Think of the negotiations as taking your wish list regarding how you divide your assets and what your parenting responsibilities should be, and use that wishlist as your starting point. “It’s me and my lawyer versus you and your lawyer finding a compromise”– all with the goal of reaching an acceptable middle ground. Try to avoid the “it’s me and my lawyer versus you and your lawyer trying to get as much as possible,” because then you both will be are stuck in a stubborn, petty stalemate.

The purpose of negotiation is using it to avoid trial. When people file for divorce there’s an expectation that there will be some maneuvering and bargaining and, eventually, a settlement rather than full blown court trial. The typical pattern is to use the threat of trial to get people to bargain and stay out of court.

Arbitration

Arbitration is, in a way, similar to litigation, but it is outside of a courtroom. It is a private process. The divorcing spouses, together with their lawyers, pick a third party decision maker, who is usually a retired judge or senior lawyer with family law experience.

What happens in arbitration is the decision being debated between the couple is imposed by the arbitrator. Unlike mediation, no one helps the couple come to an agreement; the decision is made for them. And, usually, if you don’t like the decision it can’t be appealed, which means you can’t argue it out again for the decision maker to change his or her mind.

Litigation

Litigation is usually the option of last resort. Going to court can be emotionally difficult and very expensive. The lawyers try to poke holes in your persona, showing that you are unfit. That’s why it is called the adversarial process. There is one winner, and one loser. It’s not a win – win situation. It’s a war and there are distinct sides.

Like arbitration, the decision is made by a third party. Unlike arbitration, you can’t pick your decision maker and the judge doesn’t always have family law experience. Another difference is that arbitration is private, and litigation is public. Being public means that there is a public, court record of the dispute.

Avoiding arbitration and litigation is the goal of most divorcing couples. Having to go through a long, dragged out process that ultimately may take the decision-making power out of your hands on very personal matters is simply unacceptable for most people. Today with the option of an online, do it yourself divorce, couples who make an agreement on the major issues of their dissolution can save tremendous amounts of time and money by doing it themselves. At MyDivorceDocuments.com we provide those couples who qualify for an online divorce with accurate and 100% legal divorce papers. Visit our site today and take the first step towards the next phase of your life.

Tough Love Lessons: Can We Still Be Friends?

Not every divorce is a heated battle that requires a posse of attorneys or multiple Kleenex trips to Costco. No, some marriages end peacefully with mutual understanding and a dignified parting of ways; these marriages usually are the ones in which the inevitable question is brought up in: Can we still be friends?
For all you divorcees out there who needed a posse of attorneys, or who needed to make those runs for commercial-sized packages of Kleenex know the correct answer to this question: NO!
Why can’t you be friends, even if your divorce was a quiet and painless as a lazy Sunday? Well, try this on for size: You are no longer a couple and you both desperately need to discover who you are without your ex.
No ‘I’ in Couple
You may not think that you have become a different person just because you were married, but just think about your daily routine with and without marriage and your ex. Yes, it’s official. Life is different when you are a part of a couple and when it is just you, on your own, without a built-in dinner buddy. You may not have wanted it to happen, but when you are in a serious relationship, you change a little, and your routine changes a lot.
But, now that you are out of that serious relationship you need to rediscover who you are by yourself, or maybe how you want to be. Just make sure that who you want to be is okay being alone for a while before jumping into a new serious relationship.
But, But…
If you find yourself being the one asking “Can we still be friends?” then we need to have a different talk. Whether you consciously think or feel this or not, your motives behind trying to keep your ex involved in your life may be caused by two things (which might be working in tandem): 1. You’re afraid of being alone; 2. You have unresolved feelings you’re not ready to let go of.
I’m just going to say it; both of those feelings are self reasons to keep an ex in your life. Divorce and major life changes are scary experiences, and it’s only natural you want someone close to you during those changes. But if you’re major life change is being single again, and the person you’re keeping close is your ex, then you’re not really being single again.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel ready to have your ex become a periphery character in your life, then you need to ask yourself why. The answer probably has something to do with unresolved feelings you have towards your ex. It may be easier to keep holding on to your ex instead of dealing with your feelings, but it’s not better for you.
Let’s get this lie cleared up: Divorce is never easy, even if yours was an uncontested divorce. And the period after a divorce is even harder since you must rebuild your life, daily routine, and dust off the single person you once were. So do yourself a favor and keep communication with your ex to a bare minimum; yes, even if you’re divorce was mutually agreed upon. Think of it this way: If you keep your ex in your life, not only are you not healing, but you aren’t letting your ex have the chance to heal either.

Divorced: Forever Changed

 

The definition of marriage has long since been the union of two people in holy matrimony, those two people being clearly defined under law as a man and a woman. However, with change being at the heart of the nation right now, and ever intertwined with the platform of the leader of the free world, it was only a matter of time before the law was changed in order to catch up to the times.

Civil unions and common law marriages have often been the extent to which same sex couples were allowed to be joined under the law, and only in certain states. This is changing, and more traction is being garnered for marriages and divorces alike between same sex couples to be recognized under the law.

Change
One of the key components to any legally binding agreement is the piece of paper telling all those who inquire that it is recognized as such. Divorce papers, marriage certificates, and even birth certificates are all things that tell the world that an event has been recognized under law.

With the mass amount of change coming under many of the clauses comprising family law, the Washington state Health Department will be changing marriage and divorce certificates in response to the same-sex marriage law that takes effect December 6th. This new change means that words such as “bride,” ”groom,” ”husband,” and “wife” will likely be erased from these documents, to not discriminate against any gender or otherwise. The department wants to use gender-neutral terms in order to be more progressive, to adapt to the ever-changing world, and to be correct under the law.

Replacements
All signs, as of now, point to the replacement words on all certificates being something in the area of  ”Spouse A” and “Spouse B”, with names being inserted next to these titles, to ensure no confusion on any further documentation. But the forms will still include gender so the state can track the number of same-sex couples in the state.

The face of divorce is changing one step at a time. With these new changes to the documentation, the law is seeing changes that are enlarging the umbrella everyone falls under. When these laws were conceived and first instituted, they were closed off and put each person in a box. The bottom line is, this is simply not how anyone is meant to be “categorized.” With the ambiguity of the new documentation, everyone can be free from being squeezed into a predetermined box and can be better identified under the law.

The Kids Are All Right

In a touching Huffington Post article, the author compiled a list of wonderful things children had to say to their parents after their divorce. Wait, children can handle divorce? This idea clashes with the notion that divorce ruins children emotionally for life. As it turns out, the doublespeak occurs unabashedly. While browsing the Huffington Post’s divorce section, you can also see titles like, “Study: Divorce Affects Kids’ Math and Social Skills,” “5 Reasons Divorce is Good for Kids,” “Children of Divorce More Likely to Contemplate Suicide,” and “Should You Stay Together for the Kids?”

With all this conflicting information dumped on parents, it’s a miracle anyone makes it to finalizing their divorce without a mental breakdown. But there is a way to divorce without ruining your children’s lives, and that’s with honesty and affection.

Honesty

Most divorce articles and studies note that children who have been negatively impacted by divorce feel they cannot trust others. This is probably due to the way the divorce was sprung upon the children. Divorce can take children by surprise, and it often does. In a child’s mind, there are two parents, and it would defy logic and reason for the parents to split; it’s like a divorce cannot even take place. That is, until the child’s parents sit down and tell the child point blank, “Mommy and Daddy are getting divorced. We are not going to live together anymore, but we still love you.”

This is an honest statement, but up until this point was the child able to see that sometimes even parents don’t agree? The lie in this scenario was the “all is as it should be” lie, which is a lie of omission parents frequently make. We’re not promoting full-fledged arguments in the child’s presence, but we also do not support lying to your children that life is always a walk in the park. Even after a split, it is best to allow your child to openly ask questions about the divorce and your feelings (just answer the questions honestly). This will develop the child’s sense of trust, even in the face of divorce.

Affection

The biggest way to reassure your child of the love and care you have for them is to shower them with affection. Make sure they feel loved and cared for by you, your family, your ex, and your ex’s family. Affection, coupled with honesty, is the best way to reassure your child that a divorce does not mean a divorce from them. Make a note that affection does not mean caving into your child’s every demand, spoiling them, or never reprimanding them.

By affection we mean the same parental love and guidance you showered upon your child before the divorce. So don’t create new rules or bend old rules when it comes to raising your child. You put those barriers up to protect them from a destructive and negative disposition and life; their world is changing, so don’t start changing the boundaries of their world too.

To  make the transition smoother for the child, then follow the two rules. What is best is never easy, so even though you may be internally conflicted or feel guilty about divorcing, never break the honesty and affection rule. If you follow the two rules, you may end up hearing things like this “I love seeing you happy again, mom,” or “I am proud of you, you are strong.”

Men More Likely to Remarry Than Women?

No one has ever questioned the want to get remarried after a divorce. It seems like the logical next step in modern times to try to find that one special person again. Since the 1970’s, divorce has embedded itself in our pop culture. So it is natural that this would a situation where people are going on second and even third marriages.  Recently, however, a study was released that showed a disparity between the paths of male and females when approaching the possibility of a second marriage after a divorce.

Gender Disparity in Second Helpings

A recent study released says that divorced men are get over their complicated break-ups faster, and are more willing and ready to remarry than divorced women.  The study of 2,000 adults found that 47% of divorced men are more eager to wed again, compared to just 20% of previously married women. This contrasts the traditional,and somewhat sexist notion, that women are looking for love more than men.

A further 42% of divorced men admitted they were keen to get back on the dating scene. Women were reported to be slightly more reserved about venturing back into the dating world with less than one in five considering doing the same thing. 31% of divorced men also revealed they have tried venturing into the internet dating world following their marriage break-up, compared to 19% of women.

The State of Relationships

This UK study, finished and released to coincide with the DVD release of Crazy, Stupid, Love, surveyed 2,000 divorced adults. The reason and the way the study itself was done says something about where we are as a society concerning the repetition of failed relationships and the new movie genre dealing with the recovery from a failed marriage.

Yet given research study limitations, they should always be taken with a grain of salt. Many contrasting studies exist, showing “proof” of one idea or another, or making a claim to the effect of divorce on everyone from children to the family pet. One thing is for certain though: Divorce, as well as second and third marriages, are here to stay. Understanding the divorce process and everything that goes along with it, both emotionally and legally, can help minimize the residual damage this permanent  relationship schism.

Social Security & Alimony

 

It isn’t typical for an alimony case to be associated with the U.S Supreme Court, however, in one case from the state of Oregon this is exactly what happened. The dispute between spouses over alimony from Linn County, Oregon in 2009 finally came to a conclusion after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case entirely.

The case involved a spouse who was disputing the fact that he had to pay alimony of any kind, even though he was ordered to do so under the divorce statutes of the state of Oregon. The husband decreed that he couldn’t pay alimony as his only means of income came from Social Security benefits.

Technicalities
Many things can complicate the finalization of any divorce, especially in the areas of child support or spousal support. Even if the spouses generally agree on issues of property division, child support, or spousal support, the process is no easy task.  More often, there is some disagreement over issues, such as one spouse’s obligation to pay or how the division of marital debt should be accomplished.

In this particular case, both the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court refused to hear the case, which involved the husband’s obligation to pay alimony. The husband, whose only income is provided by disability benefits from the Social Security and Veterans Administrations, argued his VA disability benefits cannot be used to determine spousal support obligations because such payments are solely intended for the welfare of the veteran. He was technically true in his argument, but the family law court trumped this rule in favor of the wife in question.

Ruling

The husband was ordered to pay $1,000 per month in alimony to his ex-wife based on the combined total of his SSDI and VA benefits. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (FSPA) specifically states benefits for veterans are subject to divorce judgments; meaning whatever ruling the divorce court made would overrule all previous rulings or acts put into place. This federal law was passed in response to a Supreme Court holding in 1981 that protected military retirement funds from spousal support awards.

None of the appellate courts apparently found legal merit in the husband’s argument that the FSPA was not intended to be applied to disability benefits for veterans’ spouses.

Fighting his way all the way past multiple failed attempts, the husband finally took  his case to the U.S. Supreme court, where the case was thrown out. The husband was ordered to pay his alimony and in turn lost money through legal fees and court fees in order to have his case turned away again.

Being Amicable Pays Dividends
Resolving financial matters is a vital part of the divorce process, as both spouses have a vital interest in securing an independent future and maintaining their lifestyles to the best extent possible. This being said, however, fighting as far as the U.S Supreme Court, after failed attempts in smaller court, is just a waste of time. Laws are set in place to look out for the best interest of children and to financially support spouses after the dissolution is finalized. Moral of the story: Being amicable, making a plan, and agreeing, always works best.

Life, Marriages, Divorces, & Singles

Since divorce laws were made more acceptable in the 1970’s, there has always been a debate about the long term effects accessible divorce would have on marriage. The “marriage will become obsolete” argument has been stated, refuted, and stated again for decades now. However, there are examples and studies that show some areas of marriage declining, and divorce may not be the culprit. Many factors exist in society which can push people either one way or another as far as relationships and marriage; and divorce is just once facet of the evolving social climate.

Taking the Temperature Study

According to a recent study at Pew survey, many single Americans of all ages were asked whether they were in a committed relationship or whether they were looking for a partner. The largest portion of single persons, 55 %, stated that they were NOT in a committed relationship and that they were NOT looking to enter into a committed relationship leading towards marriage.

Another survey done by both Pew and Time magazine asked direct questions to a number of participants. The ‘single’ participants who were surveyed with the question, “Do you want to get married?” gave an interesting answer. Understandably, the question question was very basic, but the answers cannot be denied: Only 46% said ‘yes.’ This means about a quarter of the singles (a group that includes the divorced, widowed, cohabiting, or always-single) stated  they do not want to marry, and 29% responded they were not sure. For the divorced and widowed, the number of participants who stated they wanted to marry sunk to 22%, with 46% saying they do not want to marry, and 32% unsure.

In another nationwide survey, sampling 2,691 people living in America who are 18 and older, participants were asked whether each of the listed possible goals below would be easier to accomplish if someone was married or if single. The participants could answer: (1) easier if married, (2) easier if single, or (3) it wouldn’t make any difference.

Here is the list of goals they were asked to assess by marital status:

  1. Find happiness
  2. Have social status
  3. Have fulfilling sex life
  4. Be financially secure
  5. Get ahead in career

The highest ranking answer for to all these goals was (3) it wouldn’t make any difference, with the exception of the question about raising a family, in which 77% stated (1) easier if married.

Obviously, the sampling size  is infinitely smaller compared to the population, so the results cannot be taken to mean more than they actually do. However, it’s interesting to see the mindset some  people have today when it comes to committing to marriage or even a long-term committed relationship.

Yet in all of this, divorce cannot be considered the cause of the changing mindsets of our nation. Many facets of society can sway a person in their decision-making when it comes to committing to a relationship or marriage. Marriage has changed over time, and so has divorce. Going from a considerably long and dragged out process, to being able to divorce quickly and hassle-free with the gaining popularity of online divorce. There will always be a natural ebb and flow to the way we view certain aspects of our lives. The “sky is falling” attitude can sometimes just be the initial reaction before the dust settles over a longer period of time.

Uncommon Factors in Doomed Marraiges

The world is full of contradictions and the human race is directly responsible for many of those confusing aspects in life, which may lead you to even more confusion. When it comes to marriage, divorce, and society, everyone has an opinion and no one will ever admit they really cannot predict what is going to happen in any marriage, ever. Of course one can play the statistics, and almost any sort of data chart could be made up to prove or disapprove the fact that one marriage will make it and another will end in divorce. With that being said, here are some studies done on some uncommon factors that can play a part in whether a marriage will be successful or end with divorce papers.

Simply Red

According to a study done by theNational Vital Statistics Report, married couples who live in a red state are 27% more likely to divorce than married couples who live in a blue state. Not really something many people are conscious of when settling down, but there are legitimate reasons why this could be very likely. The average age when people marry tends to younger in red states, the younger the age of a couple at the time of marriage, the riskier it is that the marriage will succeed.

Where There’s Smoke…

According to a study done by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, if only one partner in a marriage is a smoker, the couple is 75 percent to 91 percent more likely to divorce than smokers who are married to fellow smokers. So much for putting differences aside. Although it has been proven that couples with similar values, view points, and social tendencies are more often to not only end up together but stay together. From age to preference in music genre, the little things count, and for some people, smoking is no little thing.

Age Ain’t Nothing But a… Oh Wait

From the same report by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research comes a statistic that speaks more to male insecurity than anything else. According to the study, if you’re a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older. Come guys, act your age; or maybe act even three years older than your age, if it can save your marriage. No surprise here either, many men are easily emasculated. Don’t fret women, if love, care, respect, and friendship can’t transcend 3 years of age difference, chances are you should get out anyway.

Divorce comes in many shapes and sizes these days; both with outlandish and crazy stories of how horrible people can be to each other, as well as the changing climate of the divorce process. If you find yourself cascading towards divorce, remember: You don’t have to drag out the whole ordeal with lawyers, courts, tears, and stress. An online divorce can be painless and much cheaper. To learn more about online divorce, visit www.mydivorcedocuments.com.

Going Through a Divorce? Find an Outlet

You have been stuck in a combustible situation for a while. Finally you and your spouse have confronted the issue and realized it cannot be rectified. Moving forward in the divorce process can be both a relief and very tough time in one’s life. If you have kids you will have worries for the future and many things to work on before your life settles back down into a routine. In the meantime you need to find some time just for you. Having an outlet for your frustrations, worries, or just having a place to vent can be important in keeping a cool head and shedding potential stress during these frustrating days ahead.

Find Your Voice

You don’t have to be a “writer” to vent your frustrations through words. Start a blog; center it around your current situation or even something totally different you find joy in. Food, travel, music, art, business, or anything you find interesting enough to lose yourself in a couple times each week. This isn’t a serious professional endeavor, so don’t worry about making it as professional as possible; this is solely for you, and in the end it can be a great escape from your daily troubles.

It doesn’t have to necessarily be a blog either; it can be a diary or journal. Maybe that is too old fashioned for you. In that case, just write. Getting your frustrations, worries, or deepest fears out of your mind and on paper or computer screen can be therapeutic. No one has to see it, you can even erase it after you have written it, although we don’t recommend that choice. This can be a great way to internaly confront your worries.

All In The Family

Divorce, in a sense, can be seen as the loss of your family. That may be a dramatic way to express it, but in some ways it is true. The nuclear family becomes divided; kids may bounce back and forth between you and your spouse house on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the outcome of the divorce proceedings. This is a time to lean on your own family members. Having your family around in a time like this can be a big help. In addition, your family can be an outlet for your frustrations. Cousins, brothers, sisters, and parents can be great sources of relief and friendship during this time of crises. Everyone needs someone to talk to. Your family will always be there through good times and bad; keep them close and you will never feel lonely.

Divorce can be trying on anyone’s lives, both parents and kids. Having the necessary outlets as well as social and mental cushions while going through the process can go a long way towards keeping a positive attitude and staying focused on your responsibilities. Never think you’re alone. Millions of people go through the divorce process, whether it’s an uncontested divorce or a dragged out in a court heavy process. Many often feel as if they have no one to talk to, this is never true. Reach out and connect with the positive people in your life and good things will happen.